This Week: Steven Spielberg's The BFG casts its young lead; Tom Hanks eyes The Circle; Creed adds Tessa Thompson; Steve Carell and Gore Verbinski's North Korea thriller is cancelled; Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 gets a director and new release date; and Kate Winslet is in talks for the Steve Jobs biopic. Steven Spielberg's upcoming Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG has found its lead in 10-year-old actress Ruby Barnhill. Barnhill will play the character of Sophie, a young orphan who comes to befriend a Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). This Big Friendly Giant reveals to Sophie that he is the only friendly giant in existence, and takes her on a whimsical adventure.
Although Barnhill doesn't have a single acting credit to her name, that will soon change starting with the BBC series Four O'Clock Club and then The BFG. No doubt Barnhill has a bright future ahead of her.
An adaptation of Dave Eggers' The Circle has begun shopping around to studios and financiers.
The project is being positioned as a starring vehicle for Tom Hanks, who will also produce, and has The Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt attached. Ponsoldt also wrote the script for The Circle.
Eggers' novel envisions a future where a person's online identity is consolidated into one singular representation. The main character, a woman named Mae Holland, goes to work for the company, called The Circle, responsible for these online identities and finds haunting secrets as a result.
Thompson will star opposite Michael B. Jordan, who plays the grandson of Rocky antagonist Apollo Creed. As one might expect, the young Creed shows an affinity for boxing and turns to his grandfather's famous foe Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) for training.
It's been quite the year for Tessa Thompson, who both broke-out with Dear White People and costarred in this month's acclaimed MLK biopic, Selma. There's no word on who she might play in Creed, but the project certainly sounds like one to keep an eye on. Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler will helm the film, based on his own script.
Source: The Wrap
Hot on the heels of Sony's decision to pull The Interview from its Christmas release, New Regency has decided to cancel their North Korea thriller.
The untitled film was set to shoot in March, but New Regency has decided to pull the plug. Some might ask why the studio simply didn't change the location, but perhaps the North Korean setting was an integral part of the plot.
Unfortunately, the film actually had a lot going for it, with Steve Carrell set to star and Gore Verbinski on-board to direct. It's not all bad news for Verbinski, though, who has a multi-picture deal with New Regency and will simply move on to the next project, A Cure for Wellness.
Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 has a director and a new release date.
Van Wilder director Walt Becker will helm this fourth Chipmunk movie, which will assuredly see Alvin, Simon, and Theodore off on some sort of adventure. We also now know that the sequel will hit around this time next year, on December 23, 2015, now that Kung Fu Panda 3 has vacated that spot.
Details are still a mystery at this point as Fox works to hone the script. Adam Sztykiel worked on the most recent draft of Alvin and the Chipmunks 4, stepping in for previous writer Randi Mayem Singer. Enthusiasm for the Alvin films may have dwindled with the last film, Chipwrecked, but it still made $343 million worldwide.
Kate Winslet is in early negotiations for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic.
There's currently no word on who Winslet might play in the film, but it's hard to see her passing this one up. The Steve Jobs biopic has been a high profile project ever since its announcement when Aaron Sorkin began working on the script. That being said, the film has gone through several ups and downs including a rotating door of leading men.